On Taylor Swift's blockbuster 2012 album, Red, the country superstar explored several stylistic shades: arena rock, confessional folk, even dubstep. But the foundation of the project was undoubtedly bubble-gum pop. Swift's fourth studio album — the last to sell more than a million in a week, by the way — found her tapping hit producers like Max Martin and Shellback, who helped dress her big pop hooks in country trappings to ensure her new sound would still be palatable to her core audience.
On new single "Shake It Off," the first from Swift's forthcoming fifth album 1989, she reteams with Martin and Shellback, but the trio is done toeing the line. The song suggests the world's biggest country star now belongs to a different genre entirely. The completed transition is jarring, but the impeccable pop stylings make it easy to swallow.